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UK management development is disconnected from business needs – CIPD


In a CIPD survey, only 16% of respondents believed their organisations to be very effective at developing business plans that specify the management capabilities required, while thirty per cent of organisations do not even have business plans.

Main findings

- More management development and focussing on management qualifications are not the answer to the UK management problem.

- Senior managers see 'integrating management development with the implementation of organisational goals' as a top priority (86%).

- Organisations tend to develop their managers either to deliver current performance OR to develop new strategies. They need to do both to be sustain competitiveness.

- In terms of learning processes, project and action learning, internal management courses and coaching were seen as the more effective ones.

- Least effective were external seminars, conferences, distance learning and internet packages, visiting speakers and courses for a management qualification.

- Relationships with suppliers (including business schools) tend to be one-way.

- Success in linking management development with business performance depends on three mutually reinforcing requirements: 1) making the case for developing managers: convincing key stakeholders of the significance of management to sustained performance; 2) making the connection between business strategies, organisation and management development; 3) managing the learning - getting the implementation right.

- There is no magic bullet or one best way: senior managers make choices about the significance of management to business performance.

- However good the management development delivery, value is created or destroyed by how well the case and the connection are made - managing development initiatives well is not enough.

The majority of organisations do not adopt a very business-like approach to evaluating the performance of management development. Evaluation of the impact of management development on the business is only a minority activity with nearly 80% of organisations relying on individual assessment from 'happy sheets'.

The findings suggest that in a majority of organisations those responsible for leading the development of managers need to work with the board and line managers if the contribution of management to performance is to improve.


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